Joined: 26 Oct 2020
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|Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:15 am Post subject: Biden holds first foreign meeting with Canada's Justin Trude
US President Joe Biden has spoken with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his first bilateral meeting with a foreign leader since taking office.
The two leaders highlighted mutual policy priorities around climate change and China, including the release of two Canadians held captive there.
"Human beings are not bartering chips," Mr Biden said on Tuesday.
The nations also pledged to align climate goals to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Canada is often the destination chosen for a US president's first foreign trip, but Covid-19 scuppered Mr Biden's plans. Instead, the meeting was held remotely.
Mr Biden, a Democrat, is hoping to hit the reset button with Mr Trudeau, a Liberal, whose relationship with the former Republican US President Trump was often considered rocky.
Mr Trudeau also pledged to work with the US to "get through Covid but also to make sure we're pulling our weight around the world".
The leaders did not take questions from journalists, which is unusual in Washington for a bilateral event such as this.
What was said on China?
One major issue for both leaders is the Chinese detention of two Canadians, who have been accused of spying and held in jail since 2018.
Canada pair 'not been tried' despite China reports
The PowerPoint that sparked an international row
Canada alleges that the men were arrested as retribution for the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on a US warrant.
Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig were arrested in China in 2018 and formally indicted in June 2020. pg slot
Calling for their release in remarks following the meeting, Mr Biden said: "Human beings are not bartering chips. We're going to work together until we get their safe return."